Can Cat Litter Keep Mice and Rats Away?

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by Steven Thomas

Can Cat Litter Keep Mice and Rats Away?

The answer to this question really depends on who’s asking…

Cat owners or non-cat owners…

Either way, they both want to know “How to get rid of mice with kitty litter?”

The simple answer is that cat litter alone will not keep mice and rats away.

It is the smell of a cat or their urine that could help deter mice, but it’s not really the best option to get rid of mice.

So, in this article, I’ll explain why using cat litter isn’t the best idea to keep mice away and then share some better solutions.

Let’s dive in.

Why Cat Litter Isn’t a Great Rodent Deterrent

It’s normal to ponder the question, do cats keep mice away?

But some people have the clever idea of using cat litter or cat urine to ward off mice and other rodents.

Sure, owning a cat might help, but could the smell of cat urine be enough.

Actually, studies have shown that mice are hard wired to fear the smell of cat urine, even before encountering a cat.

So, to be clear, it’s not the smell of litter as such, but used litter that smells of urine.

Therefore, spreading cat litter around the yard isn’t going to do much.

However, cat litter that has been used by a cat might help keep mice and rats away but it’s not a guarantee and it’s not very hygienic.

Cat litter can smell very strong and it eventually turns to an ammonia gas.

This is way it’s not the best way to keep mice away from your home, because it will make your home and yard smell awful and potentually cause more problems.

Likewise if you have small children or other pets in the home, it would be dangerous to spread any type of cat waste around your house.

There are much better solutions that are more hygienic, which I’ll share below.

Alternatives To Using Cat Litter To Get Rid of Mice

Here are a few methods to keep mice and rat away from your home.

1. Trap Them

It hurts me to say this because I’m a lover of all animals, but one of the best ways to keep mice and rats away is to trap them.

There are a range of traps available which include poison, snapping traps, and even humane traps.

Humane traps are my prefered method as these don’t kill the rodents as they will be released back into the wild, away from your home.

2. Owning a Cat

This is a pretty obvious answer, but it works in almost every case. Rats and mice are afraid of cats, and will not want to share the same space.

Simply by having a cat around is more than enough to keep the smaller furry animals well away. Many breeds of dogs will also keep rats and mice at bay as well.

The disadvantage of this option is that you do have to look after and care for the cat. Cats will also quite happily bring a dead rat to your door. Although they will kill rats and mice they don’t eat them, so you could ed up with a few dead ones at your back door.

3. Pest Removal or Control Services

If you don’t want to go anywhere near mice and trapping them and you don’t own a cat, then this will be the next best option.

This would also be a good option if the problem with the mice has gotten out of control.

It’s time to bring in the experts.

They are well trained to deal with these situations, though it’s not the cheapest solution.

They are however very good at what they do, and they will get rid of any mice or rats in the home.

4. Cat Urine Sprays

Yes, you can actually buy cat urine spray, but like I mentioned before, I wouldn’t recommend using this indoors.

That stuff smells bad, but it could be a temporary solution to use outside in your back yard or decking, where there is natural fresh air.

Just don’t spray it in your home or you will lose friends pretty quickly.

Make sure you follow the instructions carefully. This again is something that we would never recommend using as there are just much easier ways to get rid of rodents.

Final Thoughts

The real answer to the question can cat litter deter rats is, not really

On its own it is completely useless at scaring away any type of rodent.

The only way it becomes a deterrent is when the cat has used the litter and even then, it’s not the best option.

I suggest some alternatives above, and any of those is better than using cat litter.

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Steven Thomas
Steven has been studying cat behavior ever since adopting two stray kittens in 1996. After rescuing many homeless cats over the years, he developed the skill of finding new homes for cat lovers seeking to adopt. About Steven

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